Solomon Bond

Participant: Exploring Libertarian Perspectives

What books, thinkers, or teachers have been most influential in your intellectual development? How so?

I would say that without a doubt, the teacher that has had the most influence on the way I think would be my mother. She is responsible for showing me that when dealing with matters of group management (which includes public policy), there is rarely one answer to a problem that is equally satisfactory to all parties involved. This is why allowing self-determination in both the realm of personal liberty and the economy may prove to be the best solution to many of the problems that plague the United States. Removing the influence of government from the economy and matters of personal choice will surely prove to be the optimal path if the negative externalities that can arise are completely internalized to affect only the parties directly involved in a particular transaction or event.

Ray Bradbury is one of the authors that I enjoy reading the most, and his work entitled "The Illustrated Man" is my favorite book. Much like Bradbury's other works, his skepticism about the nature of government is revealed through stories that show how government can be made to serve the aims of private parties and not the good of the people.

One of my economics professors, Cynthia Rogers, has been highly important to my intellectual development. Through both the courses that I have taken from her and the discussions that I have had with her away from the classroom, she has helped me to gain a better understanding of how politics and economics are linked and her insight has aided me in reaching some conclusions about what government's role should be.

What does "liberty" mean to you?

Liberty is the degree to which people are able to live their lives in the way that they see fit.

What is your impression of the seminar as a whole?

I can't say enough about this seminar. My seminar was without a doubt the most stimulating intellectual experience of my life. The caliber of people at this seminar was out of this world. The participants at the seminar were not there to win arguments. They were there to have real discussions about issues. It is easy to fall into the routine of attending classes and getting grades without actually using your mind to think critically. This seminar jump-started my mind. It was fun, plain and simple. I give my highest recommendation.

What are your plans for the future?

I am applying to law schools and film schools in the hope of ultimately starting a career in film production, legal practice, or academia.